Digital photo frames are all the rage and a great gift but after the excitement wears off, how often does the recipient update the frame, especially if they’re not particularly tech-savvy? (I’m lucky if my mom ever gets around to uploading the photos from her camera to her computer!) That’s the beauty of the CEIVA Digital Picture Frames. As long as it’s connected to the internet or a phone line, the CEIVA frame will be automatically updated.

CEIVA frames are the perfect gift for grandparents and other potentially non-tech savvy friends and family because no computer or computer skill is required to enjoy the frame. It’s super easy to update — just send an email with the photos to a special address (that’s spam-resistant) from your computer or cameraphone or upload them via the CEIVA website and your photos will be displayed on the frame the next time it updates. You can also upload photos using memory cards, though they will only display as long as that memory card is in the frame. There is also a Facebook application and an iPhoto application (for Macs).

I love that multiple people can send images to the frame so if you give it to a grandparent, they can receive photos of all of the grandkids, not just yours. For example, my brother is expecting his first child this year so theoretically, my mom’s frame will receive photos that he and his wife send of their new baby in addition to my photos of my family. My college-bound cousins can also send her photos using their cell phones. My mom’s friends can send her photos of their grandchildren. And all my mom has to do is… nothing! All she has to do is keep the frame plugged in!

Utilizing wifi or ethernet internet access or plugging it into a phone line, the CEIVA frame will update itself as often as twice a day or whenever the recipient likes by pressing a button. You can also program other content like the weather forecast, news from the New York Times, ESPN and ABC News, a calendar page, horoscope and “flower of the day.” I haven’t compared it with other frames of its size, but on its own, the quality is pretty good. The higher resolution your photo is, the higher the quality will be — cell phone images are not going to look that great but your digital camera photos will look pretty nice.

Choose from two 8″ frames — CEIVAshare ($128) which looks more like a traditional picture frame and includes a remote control and CEIVAlife ($160) which looks slightly more like a flat-screen TV and has interchangeable face plates — that each come with a one-year PicturePlan membership. The frames come with a phone cord but if you want to use it with your wifi or cable/DSL, you need to purchase an adaptor if you’re have the less expensive model. If you’re looking to spend less money upfront, they are currently offering the Share frame for $99 with three months of PicturePlan. The price of the frames are comparable with other brands’ 8″ models, which, a quick survey of revealed range from $80 to $220.

An additional year of PicturePlan will cost you $100 (or $10/month and $250/3 years). This part is kind of a big bummer — I wish it was half that, and hopefully the price will come down by the time the first year is up. Still, you have to admit, it’s a pretty cool feature that no one else is offering right now. There are wifi digital picture frames, but none that are this easy to use for the recipient and allow others to update the frame. And if you don’t feel like paying for the annual plan anymore, the frame still functions and can be updated with memory cards, like any other frame.

The price is made a little sweeter by an exclusive deal we’ve scored for CBB Readers!

CBB Deal: Save 25% on all frames with one year of PicturePlan when you click through this link — (expires 6/22/09).

— Danielle